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YMMV / Doom Patrol

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  • Angst? What Angst?: Rhea Jones upon her transformation into the Lodestone/Pupa. She barely acknowledges the fact that she's become a Humanoid Abomination.
  • Badass Decay: Rita Farr. Pre-resurrection, 1960s Rita Farr could and would repeatedly go toe-to-toe with giant robots or dive into the inner mechanics of explosive devices and was always a woman with her own mind. She wouldn't for a second stand for the men in her life making her decisions for her. Post-resurrection, 21st century Rita Farr is most notable for having two major story arcs in which she was subject to somebody else's whims, either the Chief (One Year Later) or Mento (the 2010 Keith Giffen run)note .
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  • Breakup Breakout: Beast Boy was introduced in this comic, but it was after the original Patrol was (almost) entirely killed off that he got tied up with the Teen Titans.
  • Complete Monster: Captain Zahl, who later became a foe of the Teen Titans, was a Nazi U-Boat commander turned criminal mercenary who never gave up on imposing the Third Reich's vision on the world. After a confrontation with Niles "The Chief" Caulder left him down an arm and confined to a back and neck brace, Zahl took on a behind-the-scenes role, transforming Otto Von Furth into the always-burning Plasmus, and manipulating the unstable Madame Rouge into betraying the Doom Patrol and Brotherhood of Evil both, resulting in the demise of both teams. Hunted across the world by surviving Doom Patrol members and associates Gar Logan, Robotman, and Mento, Zahl battled the New Teen Titans when he and his army joined Madame Rouge's attempted conquest of Zandia. Under Zahl's direction his men massacred thousands of Zandia's expat inhabitants, and captured the Titans, subjecting them to the horrors of his Devolving Pit.
  • Crazy Awesome: A recurring theme. Crazy Jane has a different superpower for each of her personalities, which shift continuously. Dorothy Spinner's imaginary friends aren't imaginary. And Rhea Jones' powers are greatly amplified after she goes mad.
    • To put in special context with Rhea, she literally brought down a gigantic, levitating stone city which may have been a literal angel and helped put an eons long feud between two alien races to a halt simply because she got tired of waiting for a signal. And she only waited for like ten seconds!
    • Every member of the Brotherhood of Dada wears this like a badge of honor, especially their esteemed leader Mr. Nobody. Stealing the bicycle of Albert Hofmann so he can use its LSD-powered mind-altering aura to become the President of the United States (It Makes Sense in Context, sort of) is one of his saner plans.
  • Creepy Awesome: Really, we could comfortably slide "all of Morrison's run" into this docket, but for specific examples, we'd have to pick the Scissor Men, the Candlemaker, the Weeping Blades and the Telephone Avatar.
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  • Cult Classic: Never enormously popular or well-known, perhaps due in no small part due to how damn weird their adventures are, the Patrol more-or-less DC's best kept and most underrated secret, especially Morrison's run.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Beast Boy, who showed up way back when in 1965 as a one-chapter concept and proved so popular he ended up becoming Rita Farr's son and reserve member of the Patrol. He's been a Doom Patrol and Teen Titans regular for over fifty years, achieving more mainstream success and longevity than even the original Doom Patrol.
    • Mr. Nobody is by far the most popular character to have come from Grant Morrison's run, and is considered a pretty iconic representation of the insanity, ridiculousness, and horror that made up Morrison's tenure. Whenever anybody thinks of Morrison's run, they think of Mr. Nobody. And to drive this home, even though Nobody died in the Brotherhood of Dada's return, he was brought back in Giffen's run as "Mr. Somebody" before Gerard Way restored him to his original state and created the Brotherhood of Nada to accompany his return.
    • Kate Godwin's popular among queer and transgender comic fans on account of possibly being the first transgender superhero and because Rachel Pollack strove to make her a likable and competent character without making her overly perfect and insufferable. Given Kate was created in an era where it was nigh impossible to find positive depictions of transgender people in comics (as in, where they weren't tortured or killed off), it's no wonder she's so well liked.
    • Flex Mentallo was popular enough to get his own miniseries, thanks in no small part to how damn bizarre (yet ultimately good-hearted in nature) the character is, even by Doom Patrol standards.
    • Animal-Vegetable-Mineral-Man, due to his very out-there powerset and appearance. It's likely why he appeared in Batman: The Brave and the Bold (which also gave him more exposure to general audiences), and in Doom Patrol (2019).
  • Fair for Its Day: Arnold Drake's portrayal of Rita Farr in the original series is very modern and progressive for a DC comic of the Sixties (even if some aspects are inevitably dated). It certainly compares favourably to Stan Lee's portrayal of Sue Storm across town at Marvel.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain:
    • Every member of the Brotherhood of Dada, in every incarnation, with the exception of Mr. Nobody himself. It's likely intentional, given how he affectionately describes them as having "stupid names and even more stupid costumes."
    • Steve Dayton, who went from rival to honorary member to Face–Heel Revolving Door over the course of the twentieth century, but who had consistently cringe-worthy costumes. It's a wonder people didn't burst out laughing at the sight of him.
  • Freud Was Right: The Codpiece. Lord Almighty, the Codpiece.
  • Genius Bonus: Morrison's run references a lot of esoterica (see True Art Is Incomprehensible below), and additional references include things like the Utraquist heresy of the Catholic Church.
  • Misblamed: Rachel Pollack's Doom Patrol comics are often criticized because she broke up fan-favorite coupling Robotman and Crazy Jane, though Pollack has stated she was asked by Grant Morrison not to bring Jane back into the line-up. This essentially put Pollack between a rock and a hard place regarding Robotman: either she left Cliff with Jane and thus remove the Doom Patrol's most iconic member, or she bring Cliff back at the expense of his relationship with Jane. The fans would've reacted poorly no matter what she did, while she was simply trying to respect Morrison's wishes.
  • Moment of Awesome: Rhea Jones pre-transformation stabbing Red Jack in the back. She briefly awakens from her coma, takes the knife Jack had just stabbed into her back, and then stabs him. The scene of Rhea standing there awkwardly with a proud smile on her face, as Jack stumbles around trying to get at the knife, is awesome as it is creepy. She then lapses back into her coma.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Madame Rouge and Captain Zahl crossed it when they murdered the original Doom Patrol in the finale of the Silver Age run.
  • Never Live It Down: The only thing anyone talks about regarding John Arcudi's run is how Coagula was Stuffed in the Fridge and Dorothy was left brain dead so Cliff would have more to angst about.
  • My Real Daddy: Even DC Comics agrees with this; their "Volume 1" trade paperback begins with Grant Morrison's run of Doom Patrol, at issue 19. (Issues 1-18 were basically X-Men with a different cast: not bad, just So Okay, It's Average.)
  • Tearjerker:
    • The truth behind why Dorothy Spinner's menstrual cycle affects her powers so much. Originally, Morrison implied it traumatized her because no one told her about puberty and she felt she had to kill her imaginary friends because she was too old for them. Rachel Pollack went back and revealed it was a lot worse than how Morrison put it. One day while Dorothy was still living in Kansas, she took a discarded dress out of the dumpster behind a dance school in her town and used it to make up a special dance in the woods (inspired by a book she read about tribal ceremonies in Africa). But some local boys saw what Dorothy was doing and started bullying her, throwing rocks at her until they saw blood was flowing down her legs. They started saying she was a "Monkey on the rag" and Dorothy ran home in tears, where her mother scolded her and said to Dorothy's face she should've aborted her. And then Arcudi's run made this worse when it turned out Mrs. Spinner was Dorothy's adopted mother.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Morrison again. The strong Pollack and Arcudi runs often suffer unfairly in comparison, since Morrison's is regarded as one of the very best superhero comics of the late 80s/early 90s.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Morrison and Pollack. Of course, things start to make a good deal more sense if you love esoterica, Burroughs, Borges, dada, Surrealism, Kabbalah, and identity and gender politics.
  • Ugly Cute: Dorothy Spinner, Cliff Steele.
    Cliff (to somebody in a hospital elevator): Fourth floor, pal. I'm here to complain to my plastic surgeon.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • In the 1960s version the characters are all viewed as "freaks," including the Chief... because he uses a wheelchair. Fortunately, attitudes towards disabilities have changed somewhat since then.
    • When it turned out Monsieur Mallah and the Brain were in love, the reaction of most people was "OMG, they're gay! That's disgusting!". Never mind that one's a talking gorilla and the other a brain in a jar, and they're both demented murderous criminals: it's the fact that they're the same gender that they found offensive.
  • Values Resonance: On the other hand, Kate Godwin being not only a sympathetically represented trans woman but a trans superhero (and bisexual to boot) who was always treated with great sympathy and respect, was huge for 1993. Even to this day, she remains one of the only transgender superheroes, not just in DC but in comics, period.
  • Vindicated by History: Reception of Rachel Pollack's run on the series has gradually warmed over the years after people stopped trying to compare it to Morrison's run. There are those who point out she did more with Dorothy Spinner's development as a character and those who finally realize the significance of Kate Godwin's creation, especially in light of how DC still has barely a handful of transgender characters who aren't dead or in the background.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The whole dang series, but especially the Morrison/Pollack run. And at times they were only working from what Drake had already established - seriously, Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man?
    • Another highlight was the issue with "The Codpiece." A supervillain whose whole shtick was Compensating for Something is odd enough. But add this issue being based around Coagula and detailing how she got her powers (Rebis was one of her "clients"), and then how she stopped Codpiece's bank robbing spree by touching his equipment and causing it to dissolve. So the Compensating for Something villain was taken down by a transgender hooker turned super-heroine after she contracted superpowers in a manner akin to an STD.
  • The Woobie: The whole team most of the time, really, but especially Robotman.


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